via Cecil the lion shakes United States – Southern Eye 4 August 2015
NEW JERSEY — American lawmakers say they are crafting legislation to curb trophy hunting in the wake of the killing of one of Hwange National Park’s most famous lions by a United States dentist last month.
New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez announced on Friday that he would be introducing an Act to disincentivise trophy killings.
The Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large (Cecil) Animal Trophies Act will extend import and export protections for species proposed to be listed under the Endangered Species Act.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing the lion as threatened under the Act last October.
The service said on Thursday that it was investigating the killing of Cecil the lion by Walter Palmer and whether any US laws were broken.
Animals listed as threatened or endangered under the Act are protected from being imported into the US as sport hunting trophies.
The African lion is not currently listed under the Act and it is legal to import lion trophies in to the US.
“When we have enough concern about the future of a species to propose it for listing, we should not be killing it for sport,” Menendez said in a statement.
New Jersey lawmaker Tim Eustace proposed legislation last Wednesday that would stop the transport of game trophies of threatened or endangered species through some New York or New Jersey airports, which have heavily travelled routes between the US and Africa.
Meanwhile, a White House petition calling for Palmer’s extradition to Zimbabwe has collected more than 180 000 signatures since it was launched last Tuesday, exceeding its stated goal of reaching 100 000 signatures by August 27.
Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri called for Palmer to be extradited from the US to face trial for financing the hunt.
A White House spokesperson said on Thursday that the Obama administration would respond to the petition within the 60-day deadline.
Cecil the lion was killed outside Hwange National Park by Palmer. — online